By Myrna Maloney Flynn, President, MCFL
I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life. - Ronald Reagan
I don’t remember a lot about being seven, but I remember Alex. He was a German exchange student who lived with us after my brother returned from his stay with Alex’s family in what was then West Germany. I remember Alex pointing to the eastward horizon from our backyard one day, trying to help me fathom where his home was, and squinting in my attempt to actually see this mysterious land with very tall people whose words sounded so different.
I remember Alex telling me a story about a high wall that went on for miles, sliced the land in two, and trapped people on one side. I recall being frightened not only by the notion itself but by Alex’s tone; the way he described the wall sounded a lot like his description of German food or the Autobahn: it was just an accepted part of the culture.
A few years later, like you when you saw the impossible — the Berlin Wall suddenly toppling one night on TV, hoards of elated people atop it, yelling, waving, dancing — I felt a mix of amazement and disbelief. And I wondered, “Which powerful person finally brought it down?”
Yesterday, I came across an article in The Wall Street Journal that offers one highly inspirational answer: ordinary people. To be sure, influencers like President Reagan and Saint John Paul II undoubtedly caused the foundation beneath the concrete slabs to waver. Yet, according to the Journal:
“ . . . formerly secret documents from the Stasi archive and German government collections, along with interviews, reveal that the sparks that detonated the powder keg the night of Nov. 9, 1989, came from the men and women in the middle: largely unknown officials and average East Germans in history’s path. Their actions—some intentional, some not—produced the chain of events that, wittingly and otherwise, leveled the Berlin Wall that night.”
The article reminded me...Read more
By Myrna Maloney Flynn, President, MCFL
Each day is a gift from God. What you do with it is your gift to him. -- T.D. Jakes
I knew it was coming. Sure enough, as I sat at my host’s Thanksgiving table a few years ago, that all-too predictable sensation entered the otherwise Rockwell-esque scene: loss.
That first Thanksgiving without my mother along with the one three years later without my father presented the seemingly impossible challenge of “giving thanks” for a phase of life I wasn’t particularly grateful for. If not for the countless distractions that accompany Christmas with four kids, I probably would have sunk into a pumpkin pie-filled pit of despair.
It was about this same time that I became involved with Massachusetts Citizens for Life. And then I became more involved. And still more. I felt better than I had in years and probably more passionate than at any other time in my life. Others noticed my growing engagement and asked why I’d suddenly done the equivalent of a cannonball into the pro-life swimming pool. “It’s how I’m dealing with grief,” I said.
As I gathered with loved ones this past Thursday, someone asked what I was thankful for. After rattling off the obligatory “health, family, food,” I added, “and definitely MCFL, for the opportunity to return the gifts my parents gave to me.”
In that moment, I realized grief has nothing to do with my commitment to MCFL. It’s all about gratitude.
One of life’s unsolvable mysteries is why loss so often threatens to sour the otherwise sweet holiday season. You have lost along the way, too, whether it was your parents, grandparents, siblings, children, or lifelong friends. Maybe you’re living through the loss of a marriage as you read this. Despite the welcome distractions of Black Friday, Jimmy Stewart, and the first snowstorm, there’s something about loved ones' absences that stings worse during these six weeks.
I invite you to transform your grief into gratitude. Give your time by volunteering at MCFL. March with us in Washington, D.C., in honor of a lovedone who can’t make the trip. Become a member and give your voice to the voiceless. Make a gift in the name of a cherished friend. Or simply add your name to our online petition in opposition of the ROE Act.
Thanksgiving may be over, but I would like to share my gratitude for our members. Getting to know MCFL supporters like all of you has been one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. I can’t wait to continue our work together in this season when life itself is the reason for giving.
Giving Tuesday gives the nation a chance to turn towards giving, rather than the consumerist taking so often tangled up with the holidays. At MCFL, we one-up that theme: Giving is good, but giving life is even better.
"I wouldn't have known I had another option if you hadn't been out here." Lilly (name changed for purposes of anonymity) met me in front of Planned Parenthood while I was helping others start sidewalk counseling. She was pregnant.
"You have no idea...I didn't know I could do anything about abortion until I started getting emails, coming to your events." Paul (named changed) pointed at the handout I had given him. "I thought I was the only one who, like, cared..."
"If I hadn't seen those [pointing at the fetal models] I would have aborted. I would have believed Evie was just a clump of my cells
"You gave me back two lives!"
"I found you online. Thank you for your website. Thank you for responding to my email, and for the note and money. It gave me the courage to keep my baby."
These are all people who -- because MCFL offered training or pregnancy resource help -- cherished or protected an unborn life.
We give a lot of things during the holiday season. We buy a lot of stuff. But we sometimes forget just how much we can give -- life! Hope. The physical presence and love that let a mother know she is not throwaway, and neither is her child.
Please partner with us, and give this holiday season to make sure that every child in Massachusetts -- in the womb or out of it -- can celebrate the holiday.
$1,000! Life is priceless!
$560 will sponsor weekly sidewalk counseling vigils for a month, and training for new counselors in Boston
$340 will provide two students or young professionals the chance to attend the National March for Life with our charted buses
$100 will sponsor a community screening of UnPlanned, especially on college campuses
$50 gives us the means to print pregnancy resource and fetal development brochures for our work outside abortion facilities for the Mont of December.
Finally, can you send our members caroling for life this Christmas? Any amount will support A Pro-Life Christmas Carol, reaching both women in crisis this season, and abortion workers.
Thank you for your generosity, your partnership, your life-saving gifts!
Mid-November, just a couple weeks before the Thanksgiving holiday and State House recess, MCFL started tallying the signatures.
On the online petition opposing the "ROE" Act (S.1209/H.3320) alone, we had thousands of signatures. And as our office began printing them off, more were coming in.
From every possible angle, the "ROE" Act fails. Perhaps the final straw for even pro-choice citizens has been the exposure of the provision that would remove multi-day late-term abortion procedures from our internationally acclaimed hospitals -- and dump them, and the women subjected to them, in unregulated clinics.
An attorney in New Mexico currently prosecuting just such a clinic for gross negligence and the death of his client's 23 year old daughter, Keisha, spoke to an audience the State House's Great Hall:
"The provisions in this bill [ROE] have killed or injured 17+ women in my state...and that's just the ones I've documented."
State House News stopped in to report on the delivery. As C.J. handed over the thick stack of signatures and petitions, the reporter snapped a photo.
Better than your voices being heard, the voices of the unborn and marginalized women were heard because you spoke up, signed up -- and some of you even showed up!
MCFL members who had received the call to action email the week before joined us on Beacon Hill.
After the delivery of signatures, we visited 40+ offices and representatives, all of whom were open -- and concerned -- about this bill's outright flouting of basic standards of medical care on an "access before safety" model that promotes abortion. Period.
Keep signing that petition! We're set to make another delivery after the holidays.
In the meantime, educate yourself on the line-by-line modifications of our general law imposed by the "ROE" Act, and join the movement (if you haven't already), to receive regular action opportunities that will save lives in Massachusetts.
For Immediate Release
National Right to Life, partnered with many pro-life and human rights organizations, sent a letter last week to urge President Trump to educate the Congress on the killer provisions found in the current draft of the Shaheen Amendment to our State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs appropriations bill.
"Remove the language that requires funds to be siphoned to so-called "international family planning," said C.J. Williams of Mass. Citizens for Life, in wake of the letter's drafting.
“The Shaheen amendment would weaken the Trump Administration’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) policy as well as other administration initiatives protecting life,” stated Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “This amendment is anti-life and would jeopardize this administration’s efforts to protect life both here and abroad.”
National Right to Life states that the Shaheen amendment would increase money for this controversal "international family planning” from $575 million to 632.55 million. In the letter, the organizations noted that “more money for this earmark exploits an aspect of the PLGHA that allows this account to serve as a taxpayer-funded supplemental for U.S.-based NGOs that actively promote abortions overseas.”
“The Shaheen amendment is a blatant attempt to impose pro-abortion policies and earmarks. It also violates the Bipartisan Budget Agreement for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 by adding this poison pill and increasing spending levels,” stated Tobias. “National Right to Life, along with several other pro-life organizations, urges President Trump to tell Congress to reject the Shaheen amendment.”
The State House news reported on our delivery of thousands of petitions opposing the ROE Act today.
ROE Act Opponents Visit Judiciary Committee
ROE Act opponents visited the Judiciary Committee Thursday to deliver signatures from people opposed to the bill, which was the subject of a long public hearing in June. Massachusetts Citizens for Life claims the bill (S 1209 / H 3320) would lower standards of care for women by permitting certain abortions to be undertaken outside of hospital settings. The bill's critics also oppose its changes to parental consent. The ROE Act, backed by a large coalition, eliminates parental consent requirements for teens seeking an abortion, allows abortions after 24 weeks to protect the physical or mental health of a patient, or in cases of diagnosed lethal fetal anomalies, and includes abortion in the pregnancy-related safety net coverage for residents ineligible for MassHealth. C.J. Williams of Mass. Citizens for Life said she turned in 1,654 signatures to Judiciary Committee counsel Jim McCarthy, and new digital signatures were still landing in her email inbox while she stood in the office around 3:20 p.m. ROE Act supporters were also on Beacon Hill Thursday for an advocacy training hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. Williams said she hoped to run into them and "have a conversation," but did not encounter any backers of the bill.
- Michael P. Norton/SHNS
“DON’T PROMOTE ACCESS TO ABORTION OVER ACCESS TO LIFE-SAVING CARE”
MCFL TO DELIVER FIRST BATCH OF CITIZEN PETITIONS OPPOSING EXTREME ROE ACT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- 14 November 2019, Boston, MA --Massachusetts Citizens for Life (MCLF) will deliver the first batch of online petition signatures in opposition to the “R.O.E.” Act today, Nov. 14, 3PM, on Beacon Hill, following the mobilization of hundreds of its members opposing the bill at the June 17th public hearing.
This proposed law (S1209/H3320) is set to lower the standards of medical care for women, as a class, if its provision allowing multi-day late-term abortion procures outside of hospitals is voted in.
“The “R.O.E” Act does not represent the needs of Massachusetts women,” says expert injury attorney, Mike Seibel, “How do I know? I’ve spent the last multiple years defending women injured by our deregulation and promotion of abortion in New Mexico. If you were to adopt the ROE Act in MA, you’d get what we have in New Mexico. What’s going to happen to your women is that they will lose the protections provided by hospitals and nationwide standards of medical care.
“Late term induction abortion outside of a hospital setting is against what even NARAL’s expert witnesses, such as Dr. Mark Nicchols, have testified to in multiple states..courts in KS, KY, TX, AK, VA have affirmed that late term induction abortion must be done in a hospital setting or women suffer injury and death.“
Mike’s client’s daughter, Keisha Atkins, died because of the laws promoting access over safety standards in New Mexico.
“The “R.O.E.” Act promotes abortion access, but denies women access to the medical equipment and expertise that is life-saving in risky situations,” says C.J. Williams, MCFL’s director of community engagement, “That’s not an empowerment of women. That’s a degradation of women.”
Additionally, the ROE Act would deny protections for infants born alive, and remove parental consent, and adult protections for a 13 year old girl entering an abortion
“If you pass the ROE ACT, you’ll follow New Mexico,” Mike Seibel adds, “And 17 women in the last 4 years have had major medical injury and been transferred to the the ER because of it in my state -- with, to name just a few --ncontrolled bleeding; inability to find blood pressure; severe infection; cardiac arrest.”
MCFL is calling on citizens from every end of the political spectrum to join in the delivery, and to write legislators asking them to oppose “R.O.E.” and:
- Ensure 12P stays in current law so our infants who survive abortions get the care all citizens deserve.
- Inform them that multi-day late-term abortions are too dangerous to be performed outside MA hospitals (indisputably the best hospitals in the world).
- Tell Judiciary Committee Chair and Vice Chair, Day and Cronin that we don't want our 13-year-old daughter to be on her own in an abortion clinic.
- Tell the Judiciary Committee that elective abortions on viable infants for any reason is not the mark of a humane or just society.
“Tell them Massachusetts MUST do better than the”R.O.E.” Act,” says MCFL President, Myrna Maloney Flynn, “For all of our citizens: Our women, our infants, and our daughters.”
For more information, comment, or to get involved:
by Attorney Mike Seibel
[ Do you do whatever it takes? Do you know what that looks like? Mike reflects on the love in action that is the cornerstone of being pro-life. ]
I just walked by a dresser in the other room. It’s old and beat up. I have had it since I was a kid. It probably needs to go. But I just can’t get rid of it. It connects my past to the present I remember that day when I was 5 or 6 when it was bought.
You see my parents are pro life When I was young my parents took a woman into our home who was experiencing a crisis pregnancy. It was the first Years after ROE. This woman needed a place to stay and the love of a family. I remember sneaking down to hear the discussions between my mom and dad As I listened, they agreed to do what ever it took to save the baby. They decided to make her comfortable and bought a beautiful dresser for the room.
The woman stayed in the room during her pregnancy. She and I cease friends as she would often babysit she would let me feel the baby kick. She treated me like a little brother. She eventually gave birth to the child and he was adopted. She moved out and the dresser became mine. Even though there were other women who moved in with us, I have always kept the dresser.
I was and still am impressed by my parents. They did what ever it took to save a life. Bringing a woman into our home, feeding her and giving her a place to live. Growing up with an experience like that, how could anyone not be pro-life?
My parents did whatever it took. I look to the pro-life movement today and the stories of that are few and far between. With 75 percent of the abortions being poverty related, our pro-life movement rarely takes a young woman into their household and surrounds them with family in the months leading up to their birth.. Instead as pro-lifers we may rely on the welfare system rather than taking them into our homes. I don’t know the reason. But maybe we should consider that. Maybe we should, as a movement, think about doing what ever it takes to save a life. Giving of our time and treasures to help someone who doesn’t quite know what to do.
Instead of being judgmental and saying, “she should have kept her legs closed,” be more accepting and say, “what can I do to help?” Maybe we should try to do what Christ taught us and give our time, money, and treasures helping someone in need. Laying down a little bit of our life for our friends is what we were meant to do. Lay down a little bit of our life to help save another.
I don’t think I will ever get rid of that old beat up dresser. It’s a symbol of what is good and right with this world. It’s a symbol of the sacrifice that my parents taught me and tried to teach others. It’s a symbol for me...to do Whatever it takes to save one life.
Seibel is a practicing attorney in New Mexico, who by his own profession "will never be one of those lawyers who work in the Supreme Court or have big Manhattan law offices". He has spent his career advocating for the least in the society. He is currently working tirelessly to protect women, and their unborn children by prosecuting Dr. Curtis Boyd, and his outpatient abortion facility, in the death of Keisha Atkins, and other women.
By Myrna Maloney Flynn, MCFL President
Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, but still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, you didn’t grow under my heart but in it. -- Fleur Conkling Heyliger
Some might be over the platform, but I still appreciate Facebook. I doubt I’ll ever find much value in seeing photos of your dinner, but I do get a kick out of toddler antics—OK, really anyone’s antics, as long as they’re clever enough to make me LOL. There aren’t enough reasons to laugh out loud these days. I’ve got to give it to Mark Zuckerberg for presenting them. (Now we just need to convince Zuck to divert some of his company's earnings toward pro-life causes.)
Last spring, I found myself captivated by a Facebook friend's frequent posts. I'd lost track of most of what he'd been up to since junior high, but it was apparent from his updates that he and his wife were going through the arduous ordeal of adopting a child.
It wasn’t a smooth process or a swift one. Some posts revealed the couple's vulnerabilities, fears, and their many anxieties. Other updates announced milestones and sequential challenges they'd gleefully overcome. From what I could tell, the two spent close to two years as hopeful adoptive parents, making their way through "the system."
In August, they finally travelled to South Korea and visited the same agency from which my friend himself had been adopted. That week, hundreds of us back here in the States tuned in daily for what had become the best reality show ever. We followed my friend and his wife through airports, landmarks, and, finally, into a play area where we got our first look at their son.
Facebook's ubiquitous blue "thumbs-up" icon that my friend had been receiving on each post swept exclusively to red hearts as two became three, and we all got to welcome Hudson into a family. My friend snapped the picture above as they headed back to their hotel to prepare for the long trip home. My friend's simple caption to his photo: "Success!"
As you may know, November is National Adoption Month, which falls appropriately on the heels of October’s Respect Life messaging. My purpose today isn’t necessarily to encourage you to adopt a child. But I would ask that we each listen for what may be a call to consider it or to go out of our way to support someone who is. Adoption by Choice is one local agency to know about.
If you are aware of someone facing an unexpected pregnancy, point her to MCFL’s website, where she can find supportive statewide resources. While not adoption agencies themselves, they will refer women who seek adoptionfor their baby to reputable, life-affirming, organizations.
Here's to those who have responded to the call to adopt. Here's to heroic women who so bravely give their babies life and opportunities. And here's to the men and women who help to make "the system" work, those who make it a success.
Your update on the critical drive to stop taxpayer funding of abortion in Massachusetts. For more in-depth reporting, see the previous year's write up by our past communications team at this link.
The signature drive has taken Massachusetts by storm. If you haven't seen a signature gatherer in your community, how about becoming that signature collector?
- Massachusetts taxpayers spend $1.7 million each year on abortions and over $200 million since 1981
But we don't have to fund abortion in our state.
We now have just 2 weeks to finish collecting signatures and reach the goal number. Sign up here to volunteer.
The campaign is still asking citizens who have volunteered to set a goal of collecting 75 signatures a week. Along with collecting signatures during the weekend, we're also asking that you dedicate 3+ hours this and next week to gathering those "John Hancocks" at your local YMCA, supermarket, or church.
Have you already been beating the bushes to get this life-saving provision on the ballot? You can find instructions for turning signatures in to city and town halls, by clicking HERE. If you have already turned in your signatures to the Town or City Clerk, and they are ready to pick up, the instructions for picking up certified signature are HERE.
The campaign is also looking for drivers in preparation for taking completed signature sheets to and from Town Clerks. Please contact the Field Director for your area if you can volunteer.
Current list of field directors:
Joshua Tavares (Bristol and Barnstable Counties):
Robert Aufiero (Essex, part of Middlesex, Suffolk Counties):
Steve Fruzzetti (Part of Boston, Norfolk, Plymouth Counties):
Kathy Lynch (Middlesex, Worcester Counties, Western MA):
Interested in organizing long-term and for continued action after the drive? Sign up today to receive information on your nearest MCFL chapter, and join the movement to protect human lives at every stage in Massachusetts.